This week we’ll be finishing our 3-part series on 3 Traits of a Healthy Leader by examining the trait of humility.
Would you call yourself a humble leader? That’s tricky, right? As soon as you acknowledge that you're humble, you no longer are. I get it.
Even so, humility is very important in the life of a healthy leader. Here’s why:
1. Humility in leadership shifts the perspective from “I” to “we.” Humble leaders are better able to focus on the big picture and their team, instead of focusing mainly on themselves and their role within the organization. A team with a humble leader believes that they are important and valued, not simply “worker bees.”
2. Exemplifying humility in your leadership shows your team that you understand Who it is that makes all things possible: God. A healthy team can do their very best knowing that it is not they who control all of the outcomes, but God.
3. Humble leaders place themselves in a position to learn from their mistakes. Absolutely everyone makes mistakes. A humble leader uses their mistakes as opportunities to learn. A proud leader acts as if they are incapable of making a mistake, or even worse, blames someone else for their mistakes.
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Won’t humility make me seem weak?” Not at all. You’re not trading in your confidence or expertise in order to gain humility. Being a humble leader simply means that you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and are willing to own them.
It also means that you are willing to admit when you are wrong. When someone sincerely apologizes for a mistake, you don’t view them as weak, do you? No, most likely they gain esteem in your eyes for being honest and humble. That works in leadership, too.
The bottom line: While it might feel like a weakness, humility actually builds strength into the heart of healthy leadership.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I willing to admit my strengths and weaknesses? Do I know the strengths and weaknesses of my team? For further insight on this, check out StrengthsFinder. When you know your areas of weakness, you can allow others strengths to shine! When everyone on the team is playing toward their strengths, everyone wins!
2. Are you teachable? A leader who is humble understands that they simply do not know everything about everything. There's always room for more growth and knowledge. A humble leader knows that are times when you won’t know the right answer. Are you willing to seek out help when those times come?
3. Do you share credit where credit is due? Are you the one most often basking in the limelight of success or do you make sure others receive attention, too? When you make sure team members receive credit for their successes and contributions, you bolster their confidence and loyalty!
Who would you consider to be a humble leader?